Wednesday, August 6, 2008

“I'll be back…”

Sorry I've been a little lax in the blogging dept as of late. Little man has a really bad cough and is on antibiotics and just isn't getting better so he's taken a bit more time than per usual. Hope everyone is doing well. I thought this was great advice for those of us that have done some summer fairs, etc.
From The Success Factory...

I've mentioned before that my 18 year old daughter works part time at a local independently owned coffee shop as a barista.

In these hot summer months, the afternoon demand for a piping hot cup of coffee can often be almost non-existent and so some days I pop over for a short time to keep her company. As we were visiting yesterday, a couple, unfamiliar with the store, wandered in and asked a few questions about the types of coffee offered at the shop. They were looking for something in particular that the store does not carry. After a few moments spent perusing the menu board, they thanked my daughter and said “We'll be back!”

Oh, how many times have you heard THAT before?

As summertime is fair and festival time in many areas, I am sure those of you working booths are hearing all sorts of comments like this from folks strolling by.

“Will you be here all day, because I'll be back to make my purchases.”

“Will you be here tomorrow so I can come back then?”

“Where is your store located? I would like to shop there instead.”

“Do you have a catalog (business card)?

“This is something my wife/husband would be interested in. I'll go find her/him and we'll be back.”

“I just got here, so I'm going to (get myself settled, look at the other booths, do some other shopping) and then I'll be back to buy some things.”

“Your products look (taste, smell) wonderful; thank you for the free sample, I'll be back later on my way out.”

`I'll be back…' Arnold should be so proud to know that his infamous phrase is being used so handily to enable clean `guilt free getaways' for fair goers.

While I am certain probably half of the people who promise to be back intend to do just that - face it - there are too many other things at a fair to grab their attention and we are quickly forgotten. Keep the experience positive for yourself and your team by remembering:

First and foremost - HAVE FUN! We are sorting, not convincing SWSWSW-NEXT* applies BIG TIME when you work a booth. (*Some will, some won't, so what, someone is waiting, NEXT!)

Coupons - free shipping, sales tax or a discount on their first order may encourage a return visit or follow-up phone call. Be sure your contact info is on the coupon.

Catalogs. If you decide to make catalogs available at your booth, keep them in YOUR control so that they don't walk away without you getting a name and number in exchange. As you retrieve the catalog, hand them a clipboard and invite them to enter your free product drawing. If the catalog gets tossed along with all the other fair freebees you still have a lead. Don't be afraid to pass out last season's catalog. Sticker with, “For a current FREE catalog or to place an order, please call ____ or visit www____”

Finally, wear comfortable shoes, bring a water bottle AND YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR! Booths are a blast to work but the days can get long. DECIDE to have fun when visiting with those folks who drop by. Do your best to engage them in some lively (non-sales) conversation. (That ice cream looks great, your child is adorable, you look exhausted already - are you having any fun?)

The less `intense' you are, the more likely they'll hang around for a few minutes longer, decide they like you and (perhaps) take a more serious look at your products and your opportunity.
Two years at this coffee shop gig have been a wonderful learning experience for my daughter. She leaves for college confident, personable, funny, and has earned enough in tips alone to finance all of her non-coffee shop social activities with friends.

And while the `tips' we earn when working a booth come in the form of new business leads; we (and our new team members) will walk away from the experience with a new level of enthusiasm and confidence for our products and our opportunity. For one of the smartest reasons to work the occasional booth is that it provides a phenomenal arena to PRACTICE talking about what we have to offer over and over again until we can do it in our sleep. If we goof up, no worries - you can try again when “they come back later.” :)

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